Summer means salad

Becky Varner shares ideas and recipes for summer salad success.
BY BECKY VARNER Modified: July 17, 2012 at 12:36 am •  Published: July 18, 2012
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There is no better time than summer to experiment with a wide variety of healthful salads.

Salad greens and the vegetables and fruits used as salad ingredients vary greatly in flavors, colors and textures, and they are rich in vitamins and fiber.

Salads never need to be boring. No matter what kind of salad you choose, the presentation is part of what makes it appealing.

Consider using a variety of shapes of white or clear plates, bowls or stemmed glasses for serving colorful salads. Solid plates show the salad better than patterned plates. Make the salad ingredients the focus and pattern. If using colored dishes, be sure the colors of the salad ingredients complement and never clash with the dishes.

Most people automatically think of green salads, and that is a good place to start. Mix up the colors when making a salad to provide a wider range of nutrients and to be pleasing to the eye. When making a green salad, one green such as spinach leaves or a wide variety of greens can be used.

Milder flavored greens include butter lettuce (or Boston Bibb), green or red leaf lettuce, prepackaged mixed greens and Romaine. More strongly flavored greens include arugula, Belgian endive, any type of cabbage, curly endive, escarole, beet, chard or mustard greens, kale and watercress.

Choose fresh and crisp greens that are free of bruising, discoloration and wilting. Remove stems and roots if necessary. Rinse greens under cold water and shake off water before using. A salad spinner is great for this.

Washed greens can be placed on a clean kitchen towel or several layers paper towels and patted dry. The greens should be as dry as possible when serving so the dressing clings to the greens and doesn't get watery.



Red Wine Vinaigrette

Makes 4 tablespoons.

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix to make the salad dressing.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Drizzle over salad.

Nutrition information: This recipe makes 4 tablespoons. Each tablespoon contains approximately 42 calories and 3.5 grams fat.

Learn with Lunch

Becky Varner will teach Learn with Lunch at noon Tuesday in the Buy For Less at 2500 N Pennsylvania Ave.

Class size is limited. For reservations, call 302-6273, ext. 332.

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